The FiOS Farce: A bait and switch

I normally would not quote two articles from the Huffington Post, but they are Boston specific and make a ton of sense to me.

I've been trying to figure out this whole FiOS rollout in Boston. There has to be a sweet deal in there for Verizon for them to re-neg on years of telling the city, "No, no FiOS for you". Now I have the smoking gun.

In this first article, it explains the financial aspect of the deal. In short, this article says that Verizon (wireline) has minimal CapEx budgeted for expansion. And this corroborates Verizon's consistent stance that they have no plans on expanding their wireline network.

Verizon's CFO, Francis Shammo says:

“So the $300 million, you’re not even going to see it in the Wireline capital numbers. It’s already there.”

So they aren't investing any new money into a roll out. This just does not make any sense, since they would need additional CapEx to bring the fiber to many neighborhoods that do not fiber running to their street. So how would they actual do it without any additional CapEx costs?

According to the second article, it seems like much of the fiber cable exists under the streets of Boston. And they would use these cables, which are owned by Verizon (wireline) to power these new 5G devices that will be installed on the light poles, as Shammo explains further:

“When we looked at Boston, it was a city that we needed to densify for the LTE network. So as we looked at all of our current COs around the footprint and the fiber that we already had there, it kind of was a no-brainer to us to say, we can do the fiber bill (build) out to expand the LTE densification. But we also can use this opportunity with only an increment of about $300 million over the next 5 years to 6 years to expand our FiOS footprint.”

“So we will get to this. But we are starting to - we will start this mid-year this year for especially the 5G and 4G LTE densification. We will start the Internet capability with the passing homes.”

So what does this mean? This means Verizon won't be bring fiber optic cable to your home for internet service, rather they will be installing 5G LTE service to the poles near your home, and giving you a wireless device to connect to this service to give you "FiOS-Like" speeds, but not actual traditional wired FiOS service.

The articles go onto further point out that Verizon is not pushing hard to get a cable TV franchise with the city like they have in the past with other FiOS rollouts. Why? because if the "last mile" is wireless, Verizon does not have to conform to laws pertaining to cable TV (i.e. get a franchise to offer TV service) because the laws only apply to wired connections, not wireless.

Of course, this all brings up three big issues and questions:

1. Verizon (wireline), a state utility, is funding Verizon Wireless expansion. This is a big no no, since Verizon Communications (wireline) and Verizon Wireless are two very separate entities and must operate in that manner. (and certain tax breaks and laws, only apply to Verizon (wireline) and cannot be applied to or used by Verizon Wireless)

2. And if they do not plan to bring fiber optic cable to your home, like everyone else thinks they will. Verizon lied to the city and it's citizens to think they are getting traditional FiOS service (i.e. Fiber cable), when in reality they are giving you wireless service.

3. Did city hall actually know they are plan rolling out wireless, and not fiber optic cabling to your home? And if so, shame on the city for allowing this notion to continue to the residents.

Now of course, these articles are up for debate, but it makes sense. Just look at what happened to parts of New Jersey and Fire Island New York after Hurricane Sandy, where wireline service was cut, and was replaced with Verizon Wireless service (and of course reversed and FiOS was installed, after law makers took Verizon to court). Verizon has no interest in expanding or fixing its wireline network, and Boston seems to be no different in that stance.

So the bottom line is.. In order to access to the city's poles for Verizon Wireless, Verizon (wireline) promised FiOS to the city, and got it. Now it seems like the city may not be getting traditional FiOS at all, but a wireless product. A true bait and switch.

The City of Boston, you were mislead! You're not getting FiOS, you're getting "FiOS-Like" Wireless Service. Verizon played a shell game with the city and won!

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For the record, I'm not against this plan. If they can provide reliable speeds using this new service that would match FiOS service levels, then I'm all for it.

But what I am against is how Verizon was able to gain access to the poles to do so by lying to the city. You want to start a new wireless product, go ahead. But don't lie to the city and it's citizens with promises of a traditional product, when in reality it's not going to be that.

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North of Boston - but

At one time, folks in my condo building, including me, convinced the association to allow Verizon to install the infrastructure for FIOS. They ran orange tubing up the back stairwell and never came back to do any further work. We pushed the issue again, and they installed some thing in the basement and told us we were all set.

So, I was able to order FIOS, or so I thought. The tech showed up on time, then asked me where the phone jack was located. I said something to the effect of, "I didn't know FIOS required a phone jack." I wasn't getting phone service with the deal. Well, the tech was there to install vDSL. On top of that, he had the wrong modem for the equipment in my building and couldn't even do it.

I called and they said vDSL is FIOS. I asked if I would be able to get the speed I ordered. They said, "yes." Well, sales was wrong. Tech support told me something completely different. Apparently sales and tech don't talk at Verizon.

Needless to say, after all that, I have Comcast and they are now able to offer faster speeds than I was getting at the time I had wanted FIOS.

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vDSL

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mediaseth,

That's actually not uncommon for multi-unit dwellings. Now I don't agree with the marketing of it.. don't market FiOS as a fiber product when the last mile is vDSL.

They do this so they don't have to put multiple PONs in a building and do not have to pull fiber optic cable to your unit. They just use the copper to bring it to your unit as vDSL. It makes financial sense.. just the marketing it as "Fiber optic service" is misleading.

(and truthfully Comcast could do the same since their 'last mile' of HFC (coax cable) connects to a Fiber optic cable somewhere on your street. Comcast could market it as "fiber optic" if they played by Verizon's rules of marketing)

And funny you should bring this up.. the buddy who sent me these articles original mentioned that in most cases, unless you live in a single family, you're getting vDSL as the 'last mile" to your unit, and not fiber optic cable. It's very misleading.

Its the same deal with the City of Boston.. last mile is going to be wireless, not wired. But this is even MORE misleading since the PON (of sorts) won't even be in your building. I can understand using copper to bring it to your unit, but wireless... not so much.

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Comast fiber

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Comcast was doing the same a few years ago. Do you remember the commercials they ran, challenging FiOS about who had the largest fiber optic network. Comcast claimed they did so there was no reason to switch. Misleading in the exact same way Verizon is doing now.

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Clear from the start that fiber for wireless backhaul

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You must not have been paying attention when the announcement was first made. Verizon was clear that a major reason for a fiber roll-out was to provide data transmission services for their cell towers. Common sense would tell you that the ratio of revenue to capital for cell service is much better for expanding cell data service than home FIOS.

As far as the relationship between Verizon wireline and wireless, wireline is a vendor to wireless, renting out bandwidth and space on Verizon-owned utility poles to Verizon wireless. Still sounds like a monopoly, doesn't it?

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I was

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The initial press releases were very vague, and did not connect the dots. I actually re-read the articles before i posted this, and it's still very vague.

But my main point is.. don't go off selling the city a service.. a wireline service, when you have no intention of doing so and just offering wireless service. Or at a minimum don't call it FiOS, because it's not really traditional FiOS, which is wireline service.

Regardless, it's shady.

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I read it differently

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I read it as "we're building out our fiber network to support our wireless services and we can use the same fiber network to deliver FiOS to the home." Ie, it'll still be fiber-FiOS, but they just don't need to start from scratch building the fiber infrastructure because they'll be laying the fiber for 5G wireless anyway.

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But

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I didn't see it that way..

The comment of:

We will start the Internet capability with the passing homes.”

But it does not say the wire will be brought TO the home, just that internet capability will be used on wires NEAR the home.

And the fact that there's virtual no capex costs with this build out. 30 million is a pocket change for a roll out, and would not cover the costs to bring it to every home.

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Right--they'll start offering

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Right--they'll start offering FiOS internet to homes that they're already running fiber in front of--just like how something like gas service works. This way they don't need capex to lay new fiber in the street, to the CO, etc--they just need to run fiber from the street to the house.

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I doubt that

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I really do. Like I keep repeating.. Verizon has no interest in expanding their wireline network, and that means bring fiber optic cable directly to the home. None. It has been proven and proven again that they do not want to do this and will only do it by force, even if the street already has fiber optic cable run thru this. If this was true, many neighborhoods would already have traditional FiOS avaliable to them, if it was such a 'low cost' option to just tap into the cabling thats already there. All they would have to do is 'turn it up" and install PONs at homes. But they have not done so already, and pretty much refuse to do so (as seen last fall when the city council approached Verizon about FiOS and was told "no"). They are only now interested because there's something in it for Verizon Wireless.

Even still.. what about streets and neighborhoods that do not have such cabling already? Like I said, they won't pull new cable to these neighborhoods, and even if they did, it would be to a pole for a mini-cell site.

And if that's the case.. you can't say you're getting "FiOS" because FiOS means wireline.. Wireless is not wireline service. So "Wireless FiOS" really isn't FiOS. So why make such a big deal about getting "FiOS" when you really aren't getting Fiber optic service, but wireless.

That's my main point.. it's a bait and switch.

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Said a different way...

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"FiOS" is "Fiber Optic Service." Wireless, by definition, is not fiber optic.

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All they would have to do is

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All they would have to do is 'turn it up" and install PONs at homes. But they have not done so already, and pretty much refuse to do so (as seen last fall when the city council approached Verizon about FiOS and was told "no"). They are only now interested because there's something in it for Verizon Wireless.

Verizon previously didn't have the option to offer service only to areas with existing fiber. To offer service in Boston they previously would have been required to offer service to any resident that asked for it, putting them on the hook for having to lay miles of new fiber. To pay for it, they would have only had cable/internet subscribers.

Now VZW is realizing that they need denser sites for their 5G service, and so they're going to need to install that fiber anyway to support 5G wireless coverage. In exchange for faster permitting and access to utility poles, they're going to offer regular, hardwired fios service to customers since all the neighborhoods will already have the fiber infrastructure.

Seriously. It's not a bait-and-switch. Boston residents are getting access to fiber-to-the-home, and Verizon gets speedier permitting and access to utility poles for installing their 5G wireless network.

Here's the wireless take on it: http://www.fiercewireless.com/story/verizons-5g-plans-factor-decision-de...

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No it is

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Verizon previously didn't have the option to offer service only to areas with existing fiber. To offer service in Boston they previously would have been required to offer service to any resident that asked for it, putting them on the hook for having to lay miles of new fiber.

No that's incorrect. Ask anyone who's in a town that offers FiOS but cannot get it. If the wire does not exist on the street, the service cannot be offered. FiOS is very address dependent, so your neighbor may be able to get it, but you may not if the cabling does not exist on your street.

And no, it doesn't put them on the hook at all. They can turn it up if they chose to. They just choose not to because they don't want to expand their wireline network. I've been told for years the cabling exists under the city for FiOS (which these articles pretty much says this), but they just chose not to finish the roll out.

Now VZW is realizing that they need denser sites for their 5G service, and so they're going to need to install that fiber anyway to support 5G wireless coverage. In exchange for faster permitting and access to utility poles, they're going to offer regular, hardwired fios service to customers since all the neighborhoods will already have the fiber infrastructure.

You keep missing three points I keep making

1. Verizon will NOT expand its wireline network. They have said this over and over again. This includes FiOS to the home. Whether to use the existing Fiber they have around the city to light up Verizon Wireless Mini-Cell Sites, is a totally different story because the end user isn't a home, it's a business and that business is Verizon Wireless (even though they may offer 5G "FiOS" to the home user from said poles)

2. Not every street in Boston has fiber to it. I can almost guarantee that many neighborhoods only have a cabinet with a fiber connection, which serves the miles copper for that area. So with what you're saying, they would have to roll out new cabling to these neighborhoods. And again, between lack of CapEx in the wireline budget (as said in the articles) and Verizon's general "We don't invest in our wireline network anymore" stance, it's just not going to happen. No new cabling will be brought unless it's to lite up a VZW Mini Cell Site.

3. Equipment and Wiring costs. Again going back to the CapEx thing. Bring fiber to each home from cables that exist still costs Verizon money. That cost doesn't just include the wiring, but the PON that is needed on your home, along with a router. This all costs money. There's no way 300 million would subsidize all those costs for end user internet service. Also keep in mind that to bring FTTH, it's not just a matter of pulling cable, but you gotta dig up the street and/or hang wires from the pole. They just do not have enough funds, nor are willing to spend CapEx money on that.

I personally have been following the saga of Verizon FiOS for well over 10 years now. Time and time again we've watched slow roll outs or botched roll outs. Countless stories about this. Boston will be no different. Verizon got what they wanted.. access to the poles and easy permitting.. but they will bait and switch the city and sell "FiOS Wireless".

Just wait. It will happen. Verizon doesn't do things because they want to be a good guy. Verizon does things because it suits Verizon, not the end user. Again, just look at Fire Island in New York for an example of how they did something that suited their needs, not the end users.

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Thank you for heads up cybah

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This is very disheartening. I will be reaching out to the IS folks I know at City Hall to see if they have anything to say about this.

***

Also, fwiw, there are some significant disadvantages of using 802.11ac (aka 5G WiFi) vs wired FIOS for Home/Small-Medium Biz LANs.

- 5G uses the 5Ghz band, which means less interference with things like cordless phones, microwaves et al (which yes, is an advantage), but also means that most walls/floors and large metal appliances like fridges will block the signal. So users will spend more money for repeaters or will end up falling back to 802.11n (aka current speed wifi) within their homes/offices.

- few current 5G devices out there - phones, routers etc. So we all get to spend more $ updating. Per/MB cost bump for 5G routers is more than that for fiber routers and that will likely remain true for at least a few more years.

- wireless protocols are inherently and practically much less secure than wired protocols. And they probably always will be. We're now leaving the 'golden age' of internet security - this coming decade is going to be a disaster for anyone not taking this seriously. It is just waaay easier to secure a wired cxtn.

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JeffF

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I agree with what you are saying.

Except that this is why they want the light poles.. to saturate the airwaves with 5G so there's no dead spots for the reasons you say. The more 5G Mini-cells they have, the less dead spots you'll have (and/or the less likely have to revert back to 4G)

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It's also pretty thoughtless

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...to people who have electromagnetic hypersensitivity. All those radio waves just blasting everyone, even babies and the elderly. It's a classic disregard for public health all to make the corporations money. And for what, so the kids can snapchat selfies to each other faster?

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There are no observable

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There are no observable effects of electromagnetic radiation at these levels on human health. Consider the myriad sources of electromagnetic radiation we have always lived with, starting with the sun. We've had high powered radio transmitters since the 1920's (and TV since the 1940's), along with various two-way radios in vehicles driving by our homes. If you live near the Prudential Canter, you've got more than 100,000 watts of FM radio coming from the roof of that building alone. Then, add all the sources of radio-frequency energy in your home: computers, cell and cordless phones, even some light bulbs. Thousands of people in America work with radio frequency energy every day, and they are no more likely to get sick than the rest of us.

We are far more likely to die crossing the street than from electromagnetic radiation, I think, unless you count myeloma from sitting in the sun.

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Correlation does not imply causation, or does it?

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Here's some facts for you.

The Romans didn't think there was any observable effect of drinking water from lead pipes either. How'd that work out for them?

More people have died in since the invention of the radio in the 1920s than in all of previous human history. Coincidence?

All of my grandparents crossed streets in their lives and guess what, friendo? Grim reaper 4, grandparents 0.

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To be clear,

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There's no actual medical evidence that this is a thing beyond placebo, and everywhere in the city is already being blasted with countless radio waves anyway.

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Sure, that's what you say

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...but you probably don't think morgellons are real either.

Science is all relative.

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I can't tell if you're being

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I can't tell if you're being serious or not. "Better Call Saul" notwithstanding, electromagnetic hypersensitivity is not an actual medical diagnosis, w/ studies finding no evidence that it is anything other than a behavioral symptom.

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Oh no, both "think about the

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Oh no, both "think about the children" AND "think about the elderly" in the same spurious argument. What next? "Consider the lilies"?

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RCN question

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I have RCN 'fiber', which is fine. There's no fiber near my house though - this comes in on the same phone line as my previous DSL did. Are there places where there is truly fiber run to the residence? Would that make a substantial speed difference?

I'm shocked that somehow the deal Walsh thought he'd made wasn't exactly what he thought it was. Shocked. But hey, at least he's going to China, right? #worldclassmayor

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Yes

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Are there places where there is truly fiber run to the residence? Would that make a substantial speed difference?

This is what I refer to as "traditional FiOS", which means Fiber optic cable is brought right to your home. This is what many towns who have FiOS (i.e Malden, Saugus) already do. A fiber optic cable is brought to your home. and a PON is used to convert it to something you can use (i.e. converts it to ethernet and coax for TV)

Now as far as speeds... A average user won't even notice the speed differences. Most cable protocols like DOCSIS 3.1 can do up to 150MB down or more, which is comparable speeds to fiber optic service offers now (in theory you can do up to 1Gbps on Fiber). However, you're at the mercy of the cable company to use DOCSIS 3.1 and offer speeds that high. Comcast, I know, is rolling out DOCSIS 3.1 across the region currently. Where it's avaliable they do offer "Comcast Pro" which is 150MB, but be prepared to pay thru the nose for the service.

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Itt's fiber running past your home

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...which means most of the cost of actually running fiber into your home is covered. What remains is fairly minuscule. What Verizon Communications has to do for Verizon Wireless can be capitalized on to expand the availability of FiOS, with minimal additional cost.

That's my guess, anyway; I do radio broadcast engineering for a living.

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Maybe

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...which means most of the cost of actually running fiber into your home is covered.

Not exactly. You have to think about many streets that do not have fiber run to them. Think about extremely remote residential neighborhoods like West Roxbury and Roslindale. In areas like the Backbay and South End where the cables probably already exist, yeah this COULD be possible, but the cabling and PONS still need to be brought to your building. (read = $$$$$$)

While Fiber may come to the end of a street. The Fiber does not exist down the street, so if traditional FiOS wants to come, they will have to pull cable. Which is not likely they will do because Verizon does not want to expand its wireline network at all. Even if its to bring fiber to your home.

It is technologically easier and cheaper to bring fiber to a pole, setup a mini-cell 5G and service several homes from that mini-cell site. It's alot cheaper to do that than to string wire to each individual home and provide PONs for each one.

But what do I know? InfoTech person here with heavy networking experience for well over 25 years now. :-)

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what about where there aren't poles

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How would this work in neighborhoods where there aren't telephone poles, like the historic old neighborhoods downtown?

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There's still utility poles

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There's still utility poles.. Such as light poles (street lights) or those gas fixtures along beacon street. Also don't forget things like fire pull boxes, and other non-utility like devices that the city owns.

Mini-Cell equipment can be pretty small if its only servicing a small area. Sometimes it can even be hidden from view so you can't even tell there's a mini-cell there.

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Extremely Remote

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Out here in the extremely remote area of W. Roxbury, they have been marking poles with different markings, such as "No VZ", which I think means "No Verizon" (no fiber optics?)

So you think that they will not be running any FIOS lines in these neighborhoods? (There are no underground wires in the area; everything is on poles.)

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They might be getting ready

They might be getting ready to replace poles, which could be owned by any of the various utilities, and whoever owns the pole is responsible for it, but not the wires on it from the other utilities on it, each utility has to handle their own equipment. Figuring out who does or doesn't have equipment on each pole can speed up a larger replacement project.

That's why you often see an old pole tied to a new pole for a while after the replacement, the old pole can't come down until each utility moves their stuff over (in order, from top down, usually).

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Actually

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That means there's no verizon service on the pole. It's just to tell whoever that Verizon has no service. This includes both copper service (land line) and fiber optic cable.

They do the same thing when digging up the streets. Eversource on my street here in Chelsea has been installing a new gas line under the street. Before the started digging, our street was marked up with "No VZ" and "No Cmcst" (comcast) marks so the workers know where to dig properly.

Do I think Verizon is gonna install FiOS to you (as traditional fiber cable FiOS). Doubt it. This is the whole point that I am trying to make. Verizon has no capex budget to bring cabling to your home. It's easier, and more economical for them to put a 5G Mini-Cell site up and just sell "Wireless FiOS" to you. Far cheaper for them..

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Wrt fiber, Rosi and WRox are opposite of 'remote'

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There's a massive fiber trunk that runs down Washington st, right through WRox, Rosi and JP, on its way downtown. Been there for nearly two decades.

It'd actually be easier to get fiber-to-res in those neighborhoods than Backbay/South End, where block level underground access is a bit cramped. Although, to be honest, there's loads of dark fiber all over the metro.

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Yeah

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But I am talking about neighborhoods.. residential ones in particular. Commercial Districts and main drags.. yeah you're right. There has to be fiber optics there in order to feed the copper network. That's a given.

But I'm talking more about side streets and quiet neighborhood corners. Not so much. This is the point I'm trying to make. They will not bring the fiber into these neighborhoods.. too much capex costs. So they will do 5G wireless instead. Far more economical to setup a Mini-Cell site and sell wireless services than to bring fiber to your home.

It may be "easier" but again, costs of doing so and their general stance of "we're not expanding our wireline network" pretty much gives you the answer on what will happen to those neighborhoods.

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Man, and he can't even extort Verizon on this one!

Verizon Wireless is the mostly non-union side of the house. Marty gave up all leverage for the city (for legitimate issues) AND his union buddies (for grifting and hack jobs).

He didn't ask the hard questions or get meaningful promises in this exchange. Much like Boston2024, Indycar, GE headquarters move, etc, etc, etc.

This is a pattern, folks. Marty Walsh is not very smart, and the residents of the city are the ones who lose, every single time.

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Public Utility

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Verizon Wireless should be forced to pay market rate to Verizon (utility company) for use of any of its infrastructure - new or existing. The same market rate which it would charge anyone else. The money Verizon (utility) makes from these fees for use of its lines is restricted to maintance and expansion of those lines as a public utility.

This should probably be investigated regardless of whether they're bringing wired or wireless internet to Boston homes.

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Yup

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Agreed. I did kinda downplay this in my article, as I'm more concerned with the bait and switch aspect of this deal than the illegal doings.

But yes, you're right. This is actually the main point of both articles. Not so much about bait and switch, but Verizon (landline) is using fees collected to expand Verizon Wireless.

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We need to Google Fiber here

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We need to Google Fiber here in Boston, $70 bucks flat for 1gig symmetrical speeds.

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Google

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Yeah.. let's not go there.

Google Fiber is great in theory. But google "Google Fiber Horror Stories" and you'll see why it's not really a good thing. Especially if you are home owner and care about your front yard (lots of stories about contractors digging up people's yards to put conduit in and making a huge mess and refusing to fix it)

But once it's installed it's great. Unfortunately, New England will be the last place to get Google Fiber. It's more to do with the way our utilities are run in this state and how much of our infrastructure exists above ground (and requires pole lease agreements from the owners, which can vary from town to town)

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uhub

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actually this is why I don't make posts to be on the main page.. My English skills lack, and I need an editor most of the time. I try to get adam to post stuff, but I found this whole thing with Verizon to be compelling enough not to wait for him to write a post.

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One Final Point

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One final point I want to make about all of this.. and this is not in these articles.

It is very well known that the main LECs of this country, Verizon and AT&T, want to get out of the wire line business and sell it off. It's already happening. RI and MA will be next. Rumors in the telecom industry say that Verizon and AT&T want to be out of the wire line business by 2020. That's not too far away.

Now let's setup a hypothetical situation. Let's just say, I'm 100% wrong and they want to bring FiOS to boston as traditional fiber service.

Why would Verizon sink a dime into CapEx costs to build out FTTH when in a year or so they will just sell it off? Seems like a big waste of money to me. Plus why would they sign up new customers for a service that people actually want (vs slow DSL that nobody wants) and then sell it and the new customers off to another company? Doesn't really make economical sense to me. It would be better financially just to not bother and let the next company to do that and deal with the capex costs. (because last fall, they weren't interested in rolling out traditional FiOS in Boston)

Now of course, there's the Verizon Wireless aspect of this whole "FiOS" deal. Even if they do not plan selling 5G "FiOS", there's still costs associated to the wireline business to provide service to these new 5G VZW Mini-Cell sites. Verizon (wireline) is going to pay for that, not Verizon Wireless. (which in itself is shady).

Now let's turn the tables around and say I and these articles are right and this "FiOS" is really 5G wireless service.

Since its Verizon Wireless 5G, it would be owned by Verizon Wireless. This means the CUSTOMERS would be Verizon Wireless customers, not Verizon wireline customers. Why is this important? Because when Verizon sells off its wire line business, all wired FiOS customers would go to that buyer, while the new "FiOS Wireless" customers (who are essentially Verizon Wireless Customers), will stay with Verizon (as VZW customers)

Remember, people *want* higher speed service and will pay for it. Why give away a whole new customer base.. one that probably makes money (unlike copper counterparts) to another company? It would be better to roll out a different service to keep those same customers.

Makes a ton of sense to me. Like I keep saying.. Verizon only cares about wireless now, not wireline. It does not make any logical sense why they would capex costs for wireline service just to sell it off in a year or so.

edit: clarifying

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We are being collectively screwed

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I find it hilarious that Verizon thinks that wireless will be the cheapest-and highly profitable way to make the company enormous profits. Isn’t that what all cellular providers were saying when 3G, 4G came along years ago? Turns out that was a bust. AT&T and Verizon refuse to accept that wireless is NOT and will NEVER be a substitute for wireline. They are kidding themselves to think that connecting the cellular towers to fiber will somehow be the solution for the unwanted-and still very valuable-last mile copper networks they are desperately trying to rid themselves of.

People including www.stopthecap.com author Phil Dampier look at me all the time and wonder why I fully am behind Frontier and CenturyLink acquiring all the copper wireline assets from AT&T and Verizon. I completely understand that many of these copper facilities have not seen any upgrades, have been badly neglected by the two telecom giants and cannot even support any generation of DSL.

But this is far more than just connecting to the internet. We have copper that connect critical systems and infrastructure. We are talking about POS systems, alarm systems, banking systems, traffic management systems, etc…many of these copper-based networks are hidden in buildings in huge swaths of the country coast to coast-and Verizon and AT&T want to simply shut it all off???? That’s insane. We CANNOT allow them to get away with this.

http://www.tellusventure.com/blog/no-compromise-as-att-snakes-more-perks...

I never thought I’d hear myself say this, but I’m glad I lived in a Verizon-still controlled area where the only other fixed wireline competitors are Comcast and Cox. The good thing about the states of Massachusetts and Rhode Island is that their PUCs are tough. Seeing what happened in Connecticut with the AT&T/Frontier debacle and the Verizon/Fairpoint deal that led to Fairpoint imploding in the northern New England states, they will not let Verizon sell off their last mile wireline to Frontier, at least not until Verizon repairs or replaces the neglected copper facilities and key point areas with fiber or g.fast equipment, hence the $300 million Boston FIoS deal. However, after that work is completed, all that will be taken over by the smaller telecoms.

California is a very expensive state and including silicon valley. You would think an area that is densely populated in technology would have a very powerful say in how communications should be done, yet google who has so much money they don’t know what to do with it would be ferociously expanding their fiber everywhere in California, especially being so close to San Francisco. Or AT&T would be taking full advantage of the wealth out here and laying middle mile fiber upgrading service from last mile DSL, or Comcast would be laying down fiber replacing the old coaxial systems.

Not a chance.

Google is typical of the mindset of a short term gain wall street investor. They start with a project and see if it takes off. If it doesn’t bring results quickly, screw it. They abandon it. They refuse to give these wealthy areas a choice unless they get easy concessions, tax breaks in their already high profits, and what I find even more of a joke is those people who actually have google fiber service have to sign away their privacy rights so google can make even more money in more ads.

Comcast charges high prices for lackluster service in many areas they serve. And since the company has a huge monopoly in many communities in California, their incentive to improve is minimal at best.

Then you have AT&T, the finest example of pure unrestrained corporate greed I have ever seen providing utter shit service and ripping people off all while giving the world the collective middle finger.
Not only does AT&T bribe this state legislature on a regular basis, because of California’s enormous geographical size, the latest sneaky bill that the company has tried to pass under the public’s nose which essentially would have shut down all the last mile copper POTS then AT&T would have forced expensive, capped and unreliable wireless as a replacement. Not only would this have screwed very rural areas of the state, suburbs like the one I currently reside in would also be subject to this, including cities such as San Francisco which i live 7.1 miles from downtown. And with “usage caps” on sub-par already expensive DSL, what a rip off.

At least when I had Verizon, while their DSL was slow, it was overall reliable and they did not have usage based billing at all and network performance on average was ok for streaming services. It wasn’t perfect by any means.

All in all, internet service is going to get worse before it gets any better. We are screwed.

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Clarify please

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On one paragraph, you state that you're glad that Frontier and CenturyLink are buying the copper assets but in the next paragraph you say it's a scam that ATT and Verizon are selling them.

If someone is buying the lines, then someone owns these assets. Why is it bad for Frontier to own the copper but good if Verizon keeps it? Seems like owning the legacy costs of all the copper strung through the state is a pretty high cost given competition from wireless options, especially if wireless speeds continue to rise which they well could within 5 years time. Why assume there won't 6G or WiMax or some new thing which is still in a lab somewhere?

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???

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Where do you see that? What I said is that more than likely another sell off is coming and YES it is a scam because those wireline assets are badly neglected in dire need to repairs and maintenance-all while both AT&T and Verizon took $$BILLIONS$$ from the taxpayers and pocketed the money instead of taking care of the wireline.

Here are two videos where Verizon REFUSES to fix a connection point and a warehouse where Verizon trashed new FIOS components. Take a look :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yeFQtqMMr4o

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCQAf48bEcE

Yes, WE, you, me everyone of us was ripped off.

For the acquiring company such as Frontier unlike the telecom giants, they are taking on an enormous amount of debt. The company is depending on the taxpayers to help pay off these massive acquisitions using the FCC's CAF II funding. And with that debt, in many areas they are unable to quickly make the necessary upgrades to improve service. Just look at West Virginia.

I used to live In the state of Massachusetts which is Verizon territory. I have screamed and my town (which is very wealthy by the way) has repeatedly petitioned Verizon to bring FIOS each time the company refusing to do so. I was stuck with last mile expensive and unreliable DSL that would crap out each time bad weather hit.

Karl Bode of www.dslreports.com, Steve Blum of www.tellusventure.com and Phillip Dampier of www.stopthecap.com have documented and reported time and time again that AT&T (and Verizon) wants OUT entirely of the fixed wireline business and have been going state-by-state to make that happen.

With AT&T, it is much more complicated because not only do they own and control the wireless towers for their cellular service, they also own legacy wireline, copper, POTS, and fiber backbone. Just recently, AT&T proposed a bill in California to essentially retire the copper for plain old telephone service but the problem is that many other services depend on that system to function.

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson and Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam knows that these copper assets are still worth a lot of money. It would not make financial sense for the telecom giants to simply shut off the unwanted copper and still hold onto the properties while paying taxes for them. That also does not reflect well on any company’s balance sheet. Either you convert the assets to utilize for something else or transfer them to another company that will make use of them. In these two scenarios either way you come out making a profit. That makes sense even from a business standpoint.

Wait for the giants to have a big expense from a merger or buying a huge amount of spectrum and they will use a smaller company such as CenturyLink or Frontier like a “purchase eraser” on a credit card so that they can hide the effect that this has on earnings. Wall Street Analysts fall for it every time, or maybe they think that everyone who lives in an underserved area should move to a major metropolitan such as San Francisco, New York, Miami, LA, Atlanta, Houston or Philadelphia.
Frontier wins from this too because they can momentarily look like they aren’t bleeding customers to death by buying a fresh crop of them.

How ironic as there’s another spectrum auction coming up. This is NO coincidence.

Wireless is not and will never be a substitute for wireline. With the rise of more IOT devices and streaming video that are following the footsteps of Netflix not to mention 4K and eventually 8K, there is simply no way that wireless can handle those demands.

We need fixed wireline, Period.

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verizon Fios bait and switch

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The Verizon bait and switch should be investigated by the AG's office in my view. Wireless connections are not as fast as fiber-optics and the cost will be more as Verizon is going to be able to add all sorts of charges.
Wireless connections are prone to dropping, a lot, and how does any business in the Boston area going to work with this kind system?

This part of the article stood out: Verizon is a $130+ billion dollar company, but is now planning on holding the entire East Coast hostage for months/years while it ‘trials’ a six year-$50 million dollar a year investment in FiOS, which may really be wireless, and the $300 million is, well, make believe? While we expect that Verizon will do some fiber-to-the-home deployments and some ‘opportunistic’ FiOS deployments, we believe that the focus is fiber for the wireless substitution of the wires.

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